As I’m sure my readers have figured out from my cryptocurrency articles, I’m not the stock market’s “fanboy”. However, some companies truly pique my interest. Paypal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) is one of them. With its powerful hold on the sharply rising digital payments industry, Paypal stock is a no-brainer investment.
For starters, the Wall Street-friendly digital wallet is performing extraordinarily well out the gate.
Yes, it’s way too early to start prognosticating 2018 performance based on a few trading days. However, it’s also a fact that Paypal stock is up over 7% year-to-date. That bullishness simply can’t be ignored and, more importantly, it’s only the beginning.
PYPL is really one of the few elite companies that is virtually guaranteed an upward growth curve. We talk often about the Internet of Things. IoT is a catch-all term to describe the integration of smart devices into our daily lives. Think what you want about it, but IoT is happening — and will continue to happen. You can either adapt or you can die.
In a similar vein, digitalization of financial transactions is both the present and the future. I’m not just referring to the blockchain and cryptocurrency phenomenon. Rather, we can look at the topic mundanely. When was the last time you conducted a transaction in cash?
From what I can gather, the only time kids use cash today is at old school pizza joints and for their “pharmaceutical representative” at a poorly lit intersection.
Still, I understand the hesitation to buy Paypal stock right now. I loved PYPL early on, back in December 2015. Since my initial write-up on the company, it’s soared over 119%. Surely, the valuation is stretched at this point?
People Are Embracing Digital Payments
I can’t imagine anyone preferring to buy a publicly traded company when it’s already enjoyed a tremendous rally. But, on the other side of the coin, I’m sure many people questioned Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) at $700. Today, those “questionable” shares have nearly reached $1,250.
Moving forward, investors can trust Paypal stock. Based on the company’s most recent third-quarter earnings report, the bullish thesis hasn’t changed a lick. PYPL has yet to outright disappoint investors in its quarterly reports and Q3 was no different.
As InvestorPlace‘s Karl Utermohlen noted: “One of the strongest segments of the quarter for PayPal was Venmo, the popular payment method where you can transfer money to friends and family at the click of a button. The business processed $9 billion in payments in the quarter, twice as much as in the year-ago period.”
The takeaway here is that an investment in Paypal stock isn’t just about payment services for small businesses. Yes, that’s an important component, but digital payments are being incorporated everywhere. This is no clearer evidence than in the current dynamics surrounding cryptocurrencies.
At the time of this writing, all cryptocurrencies are worth over $750 billion. However, bitcoin’s market share has deflated from 100% at the beginning of the journey to 34.3% today. Many reasons exist why this is the case, but a significant factor is practicality. Long story short, bitcoin can’t scale up to its current demand.
Right now, bitcoin is traded as a store of wealth, which is perfectly fine. But does that explain the reasoning for the other 1,385 cryptocurrencies? No. For instance, the offshoot bitcoin currencies market themselves as the faster, more efficient version of blockchain, not the better store of wealth.
In other words, people are participating in the blockchain for its functionality, not just its profitability.
Don’t Overthink Paypal Stock
Investors shouldn’t overanalyze Paypal stock. Businesses spend years attempting to spark demand; rarely does demand come to them. But in PYPL’s case, the public is hungry for the payment revolution.
The beautiful aspect working in the company’s favor is consumer sophistication. As we see with the enormous crypto diversity, you can no longer have people by solely highlighting blockchain. People must have a compelling reason to use or invest in the product.
For Paypal, its competitive advantage is its years of experience in the digital payment sphere. Through its time under eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), and on its own, Paypal has amassed a perhaps insurmountable moat.
Finally, the cryptocurrency craze is unlikely to negatively impact Paypal stock. Although the blockchain is a groundbreaking innovation, many people prefer the security of major institutional backing. Naturally, consumers trust the Paypal brand name, and the company provides many of the services offered in blockchain platforms.
As of this writing, Josh Enomoto is long bitcoin and bitcoin cash.